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The Dukes: A Suitcase Packed Full Of Drama And Music


The Suitcase, poster
The Suitcase
The Dukes, Moor Lane, Lancaster LA1 1QE
The Market Theatre, Johannesburg

Fresh from its premiere in Hull’s City of Culture, The Suitcase arrives in Lancaster from September 27-29, marking the return to the UK, after five years, of the internationally renowned ‘Theatre of the Struggle’ – The Market Theatre, Johannesburg.

Based on a true story, The Suitcase explores issues of identity, migration, exile and celebration of the human spirit. It features a live score composed by the Grammy Awardwinning South African musician, Hugh Maskela.

The Suitcase is set in 1950s South Africa and follows a newly married couple who leave their rural village for Durban hoping to return home rich and free. However, alienated in the city, unemployed and poor, Timi starts to lose his moral compass.

Desperate to provide for his pregnant wife, he steals a suitcase left on a bus not knowing what might be inside: an act which brings frightening consequences, dramatic twists and unexpected turns.

James Ngcobo, The Market Theatre, Johannesburg’s Artistic Director, said: “We are so excited to visit the UK with a story set in South Africa - yet anyone can relate to this universal tale of a man who wants to change his life.” The Market Theatre, Johannesburg challenged the apartheid regime and dared to stand up against social injustice. Its 21 international and over 300 South African theatre awards bear testament to the courage and artistic quality of its work. Today, it remains at the forefront of South African performance. Among the cast are acclaimed and awardwinning South African television and stage actors and the musicians have worked with some of South Africa’s best artists.

The Suitcase brings together a unique partnership of The Market Theatre, Johannesburg with five venues in the North of England: The Dukes, Hull Truck Theatre, Northern Stage, Derby Theatre and Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse. The tour is supported by public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Tickets are priced £15.50-£19.50, with £2 off for concessions. There is a free post show talkback after the September 27 performance.

For more information and to book, ring The Dukes box office on 01524 598500 or visit